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OLM Pet of the Week—Meet Adria

May 26, 2016 11:53 am
OLM Pet of the Week—Meet Adria

All photos by Alex Mazur

This week we have a very special feature for our Pet of the Week. We’d like to introduce you to Adria, a two-year-old Jindo mix who was recently rescued from a horrifying situation. Adria is one of nine dogs from a South Korean dog meat farm taken in by Freedom Dog Rescue in partnership with Humane Society International. Her life before coming over here was spent trapped in a small wire cage, surrounded by hundreds of other dogs and being given no loving human interaction. After being rescued from life in a meat farm and enduring a long 20 hour flight to Canada, Adria has been given a new lease on life!

Last week we had the opportunity to meet this sweet girl and, of course, we took her immediately. Unsure of what to expect when meeting a dog who has spent her short life in a cage, we trekked out to her foster home to meet this survivor. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a curious but timid soul who was still adjusting to life outside of the cage, and making huge progress. After a few minutes of watching us from afar, curiosity won her over and Adria nervously began to investigate her new visitors with a quick sniff and even a few poses for our photographer. Her foster parents, proud of her accomplishments, described the initial difficulties they faced upon her arrival, such as getting her out of her crate when she first arrived. From then on she has discovered the great world outside and refuses to go back to her crate.

Adria is house trained and will need a quiet home with a patient and loving family who’ll continue to help her adjust to her new life in Ottawa. Her ideal match is someone who will give her the little push to try new things and explore new places. When first learning how to navigate stairs, her foster parents had to give her that first little push and wound up with a dog who was excited to race up and down the stairs just because she could.

Adria is not yet available for adoption, but anyone interested in adopting her in the future can email freedomdogadoptions@gmail.com for more information.

About the Rescue:

Freedom Dog Rescue is an Ottawa-based not-for-profit organization founded in 2015. Running entirely on volunteers and foster homes, Freedom Dog is dedicated to helping local and international dogs find loving forever homes. All dogs from Freedom Dog Rescue are spayed/neutered and are up-to-date on their vetting. Their adoption process includes an application form, a home visit and a meet-and-greet to ensure that both the owner and the dog are the right match.

OLM Pet of the Week is a weekly segment on our site which showcases adoptable pets in our Capital. Each week a new pet will be featured in order to help them find a loving forever home. Any Ottawa-based animal rescue interested in having an adoptable pet featured can email isabel@ottawalife.com.

Theatre Thrives at the 1000 Islands Playhouse

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Theatre Thrives at the 1000 Islands Playhouse

All photos/graphics courtesy of 1000 Islands Playhouse.

The 1000 Islands Playhouse sits where local culture and some of Ontario’s most breathtaking views meet. Right now, the Gananoque theatre is gearing up for its 35th season and 10 performances that promise love, mystery, music and unforgettable performances.

The playhouse operates out of two buildings in one of Ontario’s most beautiful settings. The Springer Theatre, the playhouse’s original home, sits right on the edge of the St. Lawrence River. The building was constructed in 1909 to house the Gananoque Canoe Club, but was then renovated into the Playhouse in 1981.

The second building, known as the Firehall Theatre, has been the Playhouse’s second stage since 2004. It sits directly above the Springer Theatre, on street level, with a wide view of the St. Lawrence and a comfortable spot on the edge of Gananoque.

This year’s seasonVioletThePilot boasts the widest variety of shows the playhouse has ever put on. The season launches with a touring production of Violet’s the Pilot, presented by The Young Company from April 25 to July 3. A fun plot paired with environmental commentary, Violet’s the Pilot tells the story of a girl on the cusp of becoming the world’s youngest pilot, at least until she’s faced with a tenacious protestor.

The action-packed season goes until October 16, and Violet’s the Pilot will be followed by nine other brilliant productions. Their variety showcases almost anything you might want to see, from one-man-plays, musicals with deep lessons, supernatural stories and emotional productions examining family and love. During this season, the 1000 Islands Playhouse will also be hosting the world premiere of In a Blue Moon by Lucia Frangione. Watch the mastery and creativity unfold while each production brings its viewers insight, laughter and joy.


The Playhouse will also be hosting a series called Studio ‘S,’ presented by Eric Friesen. Friesen is a renowned music writer and host who guides the musical journey, hosted on select Monday nights throughout the summer. In Studio ‘S,’ audience members will embark on a night of sophisticated and culture-filled music in the beautiful Springer Theatre.

The 1000 Islands Playhouse experience is always exciting and unique. From the waterside views while taking the parkway there, to the locally organized, authentic plays, there really is nothing like it.

You can find out more at 1000islandsplayhouse.com, and see below for a full list of shows.

Violet’s The Pilot – Touring Show

(April 25 – July 3)

The Young Company presents a thrilling, interactive experience while delivering a strong message about young people doing big things. When a conflict strikes, it is the audience who gets to decide what the outcome will be. Join the young and talented up-and-coming stars in this wonderful production.

A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline – Springer Theatre – Musical

(May 20 – June 11)
Production in Association with the Western Canada Theatre
Directed by Daryl Cloran

Starring Alison MacDonald, this production beautifully tells Patsy Cline’s rise to the spotlight. The play explores everything from Patsy’s life in small town Virginia all the way to Carnegie Hall.


Blithe Spirit – Springer Theatre

(June 17 – July 16)
Production in Association with the Western Canada Theatre
Directed by Ashlie Corcoran.

When a novelist named Charles meets with medium Madame Arcati while researching for his upcoming book, he finds a lot more than history. His life is turned upside down when he discovers that his first wife is haunting him and his new bride. Comedy erupts throughout the whole play as Charles’ poltergeist wife tries to ruin his new relationship.


Assassinating Thomson – Firehall Theatre

(July 5 – July 17)
Created and performed by Bruce Horak, Directed by Ryan Gladstone.

With only limited vision, Bruce Horak shares the vivid images in his mind with the audience while looking deeper into the murder of the unofficial eighth member of the Group of Seven, Tom Thomson. The one-man-play is captivating and interactive as Bruce does a live painting of his audience during each production.

Beneath Springhill – Firehall Theatre – Musical

(July 19 – July 31)
Created and performed by Beau Dixon. Lyrics and music by Rob Fortin and Susan Newman. Directed by Linda Kash.

This multi-award winning show explores the emotional events of the Springhill mining disaster of 1958. The one man play, starring Beau Dixon as the African American “singing miner” Maurice Ruddick, is breathtaking as he captures the nine days that Ruddick spent underground. The play addresses the disaster’s effects on rural Canadian society, economy, community strength, hope and racism.


Into the Woods – Springer Theatre – Musical

(July 22 – August 13)
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine. Directed by Ashlie Corcoran.

Many different fairy tales intertwined together show what happens when happily ever after doesn’t go quite as planned.


In a Blue Moon – Firehall Theatre – World Premiere

(August 12th – August 28th)
By Lucia Frangione, in Association with Western Canada Theatre and Arts Club Theatre Company. Directed by Daryl Cloran.

A story of family and love tenderly emerges from tragedy when six-year-old Frankie and her mother move in with Frankie’s Uncle Will after her father passes away. The story is steeped with emotion that will move you.


A Grand Time in the Rapids – Springer Theatre

(August 19 – September 17)
By Stewart Lemoine, Directed by Ron Pederson.

This fierce comedy unravels romantic secrets and is everything but mundane. When Thalia gets caught up in a mess, Ted and her boyfriend Boyd are there when her secrets are unleashed. 

Das Ding (The Thing) – Firehall Theatre

(September 9 – 25)
By Philipp Löhle. Translated by Birgit Schreyer Duarte, produced in association with Theatre Smash, Toronto, ON and Canadian Stage, Toronto, ON. Directed by Ashlie Corcoran.

This fast-paced comedy brings problems and characters from all over the world to get a wider view of our global economy. With five actors playing 14 characters in nine different locations, you won’t be bored for a second.

You Are Here – Springer Theatre – Musical

(September 23 – October 16)
Music and Lyrics by Neil Bartram. Book by Brian Hill, produced in association with Acting Up Stage Company, Toronto. Directed by Robert McQueen.

This gripping one-woman play surrounds self exploration when the main character walks out on her husband in search for a fuller, more exciting life. With no real problems in her past, she leaves it all behind with the anticipation of adventure.

Ottawa Police Services Crisis: The Cart Pulling the Horse

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Ottawa Police Services Crisis: The Cart Pulling the Horse

Ottawa Life Magazine has been writing about the problems with the Ottawa Police for the past five years. In 2011, we said that Councillor and Ottawa Police Services (OPS) Board Chair Eli El-Chantiry should resign over his all too cozy relationship with then Police Chief Vern White. El-Chantiry saw no reason why he or anyone should be concerned about him socializing with the Police Chief he was supposed to be overseeing. When current Chief Charles Bordeleau was accused of allegedly interfering in a court case involving a careless driving charge against his father-in-law, El-Chantiry did nothing. His chummy, wink wink, nod nod relationship with the police management team and complete misunderstanding of his role as OPS Chair has now crossed into gross incompetence.

The OPS Board was later forced to send the case to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) after the accusations were reported by Postmedia. When referring it for investigation, El-Chantiry said that the board was not passing judgment on what the Chief did but, acting in the interest of “openness and transparency.” He does not even seem to comprehend that the entire point of oversight is to monitor and pass judgment on a regular basis to ensure that the police are operating at the highest possible standard. Chief Bordeleau vehemently denies the accusations and El-Chantiry has further damaged the Chief’s reputation. El-Chantiry should have sent the original accusations to OIPRD and let them do their job. By not doing so, Bordeleau’s reputation has been damaged in the public eye. Bordeleau has been trying to bring change to OPS. He has a small mutinous crew of undisciplined officers on his force and continues to deal with an unacceptably high number of incidents of police misconduct by Ottawa constables, including cases of spousal abuse, driving under the influence and police improperly accessing personal data on police computers. There are also investigations underway involving 11 Ottawa police constables allegedly involved in fraudulent reporting activity. Under the current Police Services Act, Chief Bordeleau cannot terminate any of these constables. If the accusations are true, they should all be fired.

Related: Why Police Fear Evidence-Based Research.  

Ottawa Centre MPP and Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Yasir Naqvi will soon introduce changes to reform the Police Services Act, but until then, Bordeleau must work with the current Act which is outdated and does not have the provisions to allow Police Chiefs to fire officers for criminal or inappropriate activity. The Ottawa Police Association, like most others, circle the wagons and protect their own, even when criminal behaviour is involved. This harms the good police officers and creates an environment where some police think they can commit crimes and are untouchable. In Ottawa, there have been five violent murders since January. All of them are gang and drug related. Otherwise, overall crime across the city is down. After the fifth murder, Chief Bordeleau issued an open letter asking the public to help the police. A day later, one of “Ottawa’s Finest,” Constable Paul Heffler, sent out a cowardly email to the entire force criticizing Chief Bordeleau. It was a breathtaking and insolent act of insubordination that should have resulted in his immediate termination with cause. Heffler, who has almost 30 years in policing, sent it knowing full well there was little at risk for him as he will soon retire on a fully indexed, taxpayer-subsidized fat cat pension. He actually wrote in his email that “there are few services and businesses that pay their employees $100,000 salaries and treat them like they are dime store security guards.” He raises an important point. Why are we paying police constables like him and others such high salaries, amongst the highest salaries of any public servants in Ontario, when private sector companies are available to cover these duties at one-third of the cost? If we did that, then the Ottawa Police would have the money to pay for intelligence gathering, equipment and extra resources they require to combat the serious and growing issue of gang violence in Ottawa. Instead, we have a head of Police oversight who is dumber than a bag of hammers and police constables who have become so arrogant and entitled that they now think they don’t even need to listen to the Chief of Police.

The Mechanics of Modern Art

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The Mechanics of Modern Art

A glimpse of Inferno. Photo by Gregory Bohnenblust. 

Imagine if before watching a contemporary art piece, you and 24 others were strapped into robotic exoskeletons that jerked, twisted and lit up in front of the rest of the still-sitting audience. Some people might say that would be hellish, which is exactly what artists Louis-Philippe Demers and Bill Vorn were thinking when they called the piece Inferno.

Inferno, which will be taking the stage at the ELEKTRA festival on June 3 and 4 in Montreal, is partially inspired by Dante’s Circles of Hell. The people standing in the exoskeletons have no control over what the armor-like machines will make them do, as each of their movements are controlled by a computer. This suggests “an infinite and mundane control loop under which the body will be forced to move endlessly.” Only 25 volunteers from the audience will be put in the exoskeletons and become performers in the piece.

Inferno is exactly the sort of out-of-the-box performance audiences should expect at the 17th ELEKTRA festival, which is synchronized with the opening on June 3 of their International Digital Art Biennial (BIAN) – now in its third edition – for a full month of cutting edge contemporary art. Together, the festivals’ theme is AUTOMATA, which explores what could be art made by machines for machines. But don’t worry, us humans should find it more than fascinating as well.

The ELEKTRA festival will run from June 1 to the 5th, and the BIAN festival continues until July 3. They’re bringing more than 50 international artists to Montreal to show their work at Arsenal Contemporary Art.


205 prepared dc-motors, cotton balls, cardboard boxes 55 x 55 x 55 cm, 2013. Photo courtesy of Studio Zimoun.

One of the BIAN’s noteworthy exhibits will be 205 prepared dc-motors, cotton balls, cardboard boxes 55 x 55 x 55 cm, 2013 by Swiss-artist Zimoun. The outside of the piece is a massive tower of cardboard boxes which create an architectural sound platform that has a mechanical rhythm. On the outside, the piece appears very relaxing and the boxes work together to create an illusion of reliable sturdiness. In many ways, it looks like a box fort that sprung right out of an eight year-old’s wildest dreams.

A much less relaxing work is Machine with Hair Caught in It by Korean duo Ujoo+Limheeyoung. In this work, long black hair surrounds a maze of shining gears and cogs where the person’s face would normally be. It leaves the viewer with an ominous question, has the person’s head been swallowed by the machine, leaving some ‘hair caught in it,’ or is the machine the head itself?

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Machine with Hair Caught in It, photo courtesy of Ujoo+Limheeyoung.

The BIAN and ELEKTRA festivals are bringing in countless more fascinating works between June 3 and July 3 that explore the relationship between people and machines’ growing influence over contemporary thought. Inferno, and the rest of ELEKTRA’s programming will be held in Montreal’s Arsenal Contemporary Art, while the dozens of works making up the BIAN are filling up a number of different spaces around the city. You can find more information, including a full list of performances and venues, at bianmontreal.ca/en.

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